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George Romney
PORTRAIT OF MARY WILSON (1746–1820), HALF LENGTH, WEARING A GREEN DRESS
51
George Romney
PORTRAIT OF MARY WILSON (1746–1820), HALF LENGTH, WEARING A GREEN DRESS

Details & Cataloguing

Inspired by Chatsworth: A Selling Exhibition

New York

George Romney
DALTON 1734 - 1802 KENDAL
PORTRAIT OF MARY WILSON (1746–1820), HALF LENGTH, WEARING A GREEN DRESS
Asking Price: $125,000

oil on canvas, in a painted oval
29  1/2  by 25 in.; 75 by 63.5 cm.
Lire le rapport d'état Lire le rapport d'état

Provenance

Probably commissioned by Dr Ainslie, the sitter's future brother-in-law;
By descent to the Reverend L.W. Greenshields;
From whom acquired by Agnew, 1937 (incorrectly identified as Elizabeth Wilson);
From whom acquired by H.G. Clifford-Turner, 1938;
Anonymous sale ('The Property of a Gentleman'), London, Sotheby's, 6 July 1983, lot 237, for £6,500;
With Thomas Agnew & Sons Ltd., London, 1984;
From whom acquired for a private collection, London.

Exposition

London, Thomas Agnew & Sons Ltd., The Heroic Age: an exhibition of British painting including works by Reynolds, Gainsborough and Raeburn, and on special display J.M.W. Turner's 'Landscape with Walton bridges', 6 June–3 August 1984, no. 13.

Bibliographie

A. Kidson, George Romney: A Complete Catalogue of His Paintings, vol. II, New Haven/London 2015, p. 641, cat. no. 1432, reproduced (as untraced, and correctly identified as Mary Wilson).

Description

Dating from around Romney's second trip the north-west of England in 1767–68, this highly refined portrait is included in the artist's 'north-western sitters' notebook of that date. Mary is mentioned as 'Miss Wilson' directly under the names of her parents, Henry and Elizabeth (née Greenbank of Carnforth) of Over Kellett.

The portrait had remained with its pendant, a portrait of Mary's younger sister, Elizabeth,1 until the Sotheby's sale in 1983. At this sale, the two pictures were catalogued the wrong way round, an error dating from their ownership by Agnew's in 1937. However, old photographs of the two portraits in Ainslie family ownership identify Mary as the sitter in green, and her sister Elizabeth as wearing a yellow dress.

1 Kidson 2015, p. 640, no. 1431, reproduced in colour p. 641 (as untraced, and correctly identified as Elizabeth Wilson).

Inspired by Chatsworth: A Selling Exhibition

New York